Monday, May 24, 2010

Witnessing Bromo

I’ve been to Mount Bromo twice, in 2005 and early 2010, but it always bring the same excitement to experience the magical moment which not most people could have, stay awake all night long waiting for sunrise at the top of an active volcano mountain. At 2,329 metres, Mount Bromo is located at East Java, Indonesia and is part of the Tengger tribe. This tribe believes that Mount Bromo is sacred and once a year they celebrate Kasodo ceremony at this mountain.

Here is the information you need when visiting Bromo:

1. Rental car for Bromo Midnight Tour
I’ve rented car to Arema Transport Malang for trip to Bromo from Malang. We used APV, the car was clean, comfortable and the service was good, which is worth the price of Rp550,000. The price is including driver, pick up at your hotel or place, 5-7 seats and drop off at your place in Malang in the morning. Based on my previous search, this is the cheapest rental car at Malang.AREMA Transport
Jln. Soekarno Hatta Kav 1F, Malang - Jawa Timur
Phone: 0341-7080072, 2934996
Mobile – GSM: 081937919249, 081334867101

2. Time travelBest spot to view sunrise is at Mount Pananjakan. In 2005, I spent 3 hours at road to reach Mount Pananjakan. However when I visited Bromo the second time in 2010, since the driver very familiar with the road, it only took 1,5 hours from Malang to Mount Pananjakan but it is definitely one hell of winding road :-D According to the driver, he took the short cut road. However I can’t remember the route name *sigh*.
In order to arrive in time, I suggest you to depart from Malang at 1am in the morning so you can arrive at the feet of Mount Pananjakan at 2.30 am. The gate to Mount Pananjakan will be open at 3am. However you must arrange the entrance fee at the gate. At 3am, the cars will already queue to enter Mount Pananjakan. Hence, arriving early can get you in the first line to enter Mount Pananjakan and find the best spot to view sunrise. Believe me; it is crowded up there even when not in holiday season.
View of Mount Semeru from the Sunrise Terrace
3. Itinerary
The regular itinerary for visiting Bromo is as follows:
a. Waiting for sunrise at Mount Pananjakan.
Entrance fee to Mount Pananjakan is Rp4,000/ person and per car. The sky starts to change colour at 5am and the sun arises at near 6am. Sometimes the clouds are too thick that we hardly see the sun. But if you’re lucky, you’ll watch the sun which looks like an egg yolk. At the same spot of sunrise, you can also see the misty Mount Semeru, the highest peak in Java.
b. Go to Land of Sea (Lautan Pasir) using rental jeep.
For rental jeep to the Land of Sea, it costs about Rp300,000 until Rp350,000. You can rent it when you get there to the local people.
c. Climbing to the top of Mount Bromo.
For some people who are too tired to climb up the steps to see the crater, they can ride a horse for Rp20,000 - Rp100,000. Yes they offer very various price, so you need to bargain to get the best price. The steps are quite tiring and the smell of horse makes them even worse. :-D But once you get up the hill, you’ll witness the active crater and breathtaking view of Bromo crater from above.
d. See the savanna. The savanna view is like a wide grass field surrounded by the mountain. The view is beautiful. It is on the side of your way back to Malang.

4. What to Bring
Here listed items which you must bring to minimize the cost and also for convenience J
a. Flashlight
At 3am in the morning, you need to walk to the sunrise terrace in the dark. A flashlight might be useful.
b. Warm clothes.
Yes, it’s freezing up there. So you better bring wool jackets, sweaters, gloves, scarves, socks and even winter hats. However if you miss to bring those clothes, you can rent them for Rp5,000 - Rp20,000.
c. Medicine and tissues
Since it is pretty cold, don’t forget to bring cold medicine like antangin/tolak angin and balsam. The stalls also sell those items in very expensive price, so you better prepare yourself with one before you go. The cold weather easily makes runny nose and you definitely need those tissues :-D
d. Snacks and drinks
As you will awake the whole night, snacks and drinks help you a lot to stay awake and keeps your stomach from hungry :-D
e. Camera and tripod
At last, prepare your camera and tripod for beautiful sunrise pictures J Tips from me: when you took photos of person in front of the sunrise, you captured the sunrise first with normal exposure and then take picture of the person using internal flashlight. Then you’ll get the person face clear and also the color of the sun.

5. Cost
The summary of how much it costs to visit Bromo is as follows:
Rental car: Rp550,000 / 5 - 7 persons
Entrance fee: Rp4,000/ person
Rental gloves: Rp5,000/pairs
Rental jackets: Rp10,000-Rp20,000/pieces
Rental jeep: Rp300,000 - Rp350,000/4 persons
Rental horse: Rp20,000 - Rp100,000/person

That’s all! So just go there and tell me how your ‘watching sunrise’ experience is! :)